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#AskAwayFriday with Rabia from The Lieber Family

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#AskAwayFridayWelcome to #AskAwayFriday once again! #AskAwayFriday is a chance for bloggers to connect and learn more about each other. Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County and  Amber from The Bold Fab Mom came up with the concept. I haven’t been participating every week but I have jumped in on occasion, and I think over the next few weeks you will see me joining in a bit more.

This week I am teaming up with Rabia from The Lieber Family! I think I met Rabia early last year through SITS. She’s also one of the co-authors of The Mother of All Meltdowns…if you haven’t read it, you should (shameless plug)! She is a mom of 3, works, and has been blogging since 2007! One thing I really admire about Rabia is her ability to be thankful for the little things in life. You’ll see what I mean when you read her post Ten Things I Forget to Be Thankful For. If you know Rabia, either online or in real life, you know she is a genuinely nice person. I remember when I was very new to blogging and joining in the Saturday SITS Sharefest, I would chime in and many times got a tweet from Rabia saying good morning or something else that made me feel like I belonged. That might sound silly, but it’s the little things that people do to welcome you that make you feel like you are part of the group! I hope you will go over and visit her blog and see how she answered the questions I gave her. But first, below, here are the questions she sent my way!

1. You and I both have three kids, but yours are a bit ahead of mine. What is essential to know as I move out of pre-school and elementary school into middle and high school? They sleep a lot more (like noon on the weekends if they don’t have a game),  eat you out of house and home, and there’s a lot more moodiness. LOL  In all seriousness, I think what’s probably most important is that they know that you are there for them, that they can come talk to you, and if they are ever uncomfortable in a situation that they are in, that you will come get them and not ask questions until later. Even though I haven’t run across this yet, I never want my kids to feel like they are afraid to call me and end up getting in a car with an impaired driver instead. I was in that predicament several times in high school.

2. You’ve been married for over 20 years! Congratulations!! What’s the secret? I don’t know if there is a secret. I knew when I was dating Mike that he would be a good husband and father, and he is!

3. You write great stuff about organization (whereas I am a documented scatter-brained housekeeper). What’s the one organizational rule you have the hardest time following? If you ask me about pictures, I can definitely help you! But as far as the house goes, I am a scatterbrained housekeeper too! Our big project over the break has been getting this place in order! Our kids are all clutter magnets and they have learned by example. I am determined to get the house under control. We have made a big dent in it. My biggest problem is paper. I don’t have a problem throwing things out, but I don’t have a good filing system.

4. Your family keeps quite active!  What made your kids choose the sports they love?  Did they try out a wide variety or did they fall in love with the first ones they tried? They all played soccer starting in preschool.  My husband was involved with coaching and the soccer board and they liked it so they just kept playing year after year. But my husband and I are runners so it was kind of assumed that they would eventually run.  My oldest tried baseball, basketball, and cross country and track. But he loves soccer (and really hates running, without a ball anyway). Our middle child fell in love with soccer when she was 5 and quit everything else…she actually came to me and told me she wanted to quit dance and scouts…she was going to be a soccer player. I couldn’t convince her to stick with either so that was that. She did try running in middle school (in addition to soccer) and she is quite good (2nd in cross country states last year…yes I was a proud mama)…so who knows. But right now soccer is still her first love. My youngest is definitely more well rounded…he plays soccer, but he actually likes running, snowboarding and BMX racing better. So for him, soccer is something he just does with his friends because it’s fun, but he’s planning to run in high school instead. Boy that was a long winded answer!

5. You do a lot of driving and I’ll bet you practically live in your van! What essentials do you keep in there, just in case? The only thing I pretty much always have with me is one of my May Designs notebooks, because if I am sitting at practice somewhere I try to write blog posts! Also I usually have granola bars because most of the time when the kids finish up with practice they are starving. However, I plan to be more organized going forward…I just got this great bag from Fitmark, and it’s now my go-to sports mom bag because I can keep pretty much everything I need in it, from my iPad to an extra waterbottle to workout gear and a whole lot more. It doubles as my purse now!

6. What was the best thing you got/best thing you gave for Christmas this year? I prefer giving over getting, like you. The best thing I got was a new car, although I got it earlier. My van has way too many miles on it to keep driving the distances I do with it, so my husband surprised me and came home with a new car on Black Friday. The best thing I gave was the DS my oldest son wanted. My husband and I thought that it was a ridiculous gift for someone his age, but apparently it’s a thing with the older kids right now. I basically told him we weren’t getting it, and then about a week before Christmas I finally broke down and got it. He didn’t want anything else, and he’s not a kid that asks for much. The look on his face was priceless. When he asked me what changed my mind, I told him Santa.

7. I know that you love watching your kids play sports and you also love photographing them while they play. How do you balance the two so you can get good shots and still feel like you are watching the action? It’s hit or miss. Sometimes I miss the great shots of my own kids because I stop to watch the action. Other times,  I catch the funniest things. Once I got a girl pinching one of my daughter’s teammates during a soccer game! I got the whole sequence…the girl pinching and the look on my daughter’s teammate’s face. I didn’t know it had even happened until I looked back through the shots, and then asked the girl about it.

8. You are my go to person for a lot of Twitter questions. How’d you get to be such an expert?  If you could run Twitter for a day, what’s one thing you would change? Haha – I would hardly call myself an expert. Obsessed maybe. I love Twitter. I think when you enjoy something, you tend to want to learn more about it, best practices, etc. And Twitter is one place if you put some effort into it, you get rewarded by followers, RTs, etc. It would be nice if you could customize Twitter without having to use other programs, but it might make it too overwhelming for people to get involved then.

9. If you could choose to go 100 years into the future or 100 years into the past, which would you choose and why? That’s a tough question! I don’t know. I’d like to see what my grandchildren and great grandchildrens’ lives look like. I feel like I’m more connected with my future than past.

10.  Do you have a favorite charity or non-profit that you support? Why did you choose it? We have a few charities we like to support when we are able. Our local shelter is one of them. We adopted 5 of our 7 animals there and over the years, we have adopted 9 or 10 animals in total.  Our local shelter is non-kill, and they have given a lot of animals second chances. My husband is on the board at a community culinary school we support, where through local funding and grants, they give adults who are looking to learn a new skill a chance to do so. When the students graduate, they all move on to culinary jobs!

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catherine gacad

Wednesday 8th of January 2014

i love your response about parenting to older kids. i think that's so important that teens know that you are there for them, and won't scold them for reaching out if they need help. my 8th grade teacher was an amazing, inspirational woman. she gave us her home phone number (no cell phones back then!) and said to call her if ever we were in a bad situation or needed help, and that she would come get questions asked.

Kenya G. Johnson

Sunday 5th of January 2014

Love #6. The priceless look gives me goosebumps. I got one on video this past Christmas. We hadn't intended to get a motor scooter. I went to a literacy night a Christopher's school in December. There was a board outside of his classroom with the kid's letters to Santa. The only thing in his letter was the motor scooter - though he communicated a cheaper wish list to us. ;-)

Michelle Nahom

Sunday 5th of January 2014

That is awesome Kenya! And so cool you got it on video too!! The DS was the only thing he asked for, so I felt like I had to do it. Hearing from so many others whose teenagers are playing with DS's again, it does sound like it is a big thing again. He's enjoying it. :)


Sunday 5th of January 2014

I love this kind of post. It's so nice to learn more about you. Happy 2014!

Michelle Nahom

Sunday 5th of January 2014

You should join in the fun with us! The more the merrier! I'd be happy to partner with you. :)

Ginny Marie

Saturday 4th of January 2014

I love your answer for number 1! That's good advice; my kids are younger, too, and becoming the mom of tweens and teens is intimidating. My oldest will be 10 this year!

Michelle Nahom

Sunday 5th of January 2014

Teens are fun too. It's fun to watch their personalities develop into the adults they are going to become!

another jennifer

Saturday 4th of January 2014

So cool that your husband surprised you with a car! And I love that you've adopted so many of your animals. The shelter by us travels down south all the time to rescue dogs who are about to be euthanized. I always have a soft spot for shelters, as I'm sure you do too!

Michelle Nahom

Sunday 5th of January 2014

One of our dogs came from down south too...I wonder if for the same reason? I never asked. She is a sweetheart. In her little ad, they called her a southern belle and my youngest son (who was in first or second grade at the time) told his teacher that was what she was when she asked what kind of dog we had gotten. Out of the mouths of babes!